Mt. McKinley: Hahn & Team at 8,000’ Camp

Posted by: Dave Hahn, Zeb Blais | July 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 8,000'

Monday, July 15th, 2013
It was still very calm at 14K camp this morning, but it was obvious that the next storm system was moving in.  So we moved out.  At 9:15 we pulled out of Genet Basin and dragged our sleds to Windy Corner.  The going was easy as others had plowed a nice trough through the recent snows.  There has to be some advantage to being the very last team to come off the mountain.  We made it around the corner, down the Polo Field, across Squirrel Hill and down Motorcycle in about two hours.  At 11,000’ we dug up our cache of food, snowshoes, and miscellaneous gear and took about an hour to reorganize.  Then it was down to the main Kahiltna Glacier in excellent condition for travel.  It only took us two hours to make the bottom of Ski Hill.  By that point, however, glacier surface conditions were getting soggy and slushy -as expected.  So we built camp to wait for the cool of night before going the last few miles to the airstrip.  We need the freeze to firm up about a thousand snow bridges over crevasses between here and Basecamp.  It is a relief to be low again.  Our first time in over two weeks to be taking in so much oxygen with each breath.  And we aren’t even remotely cold after conditioning to the frigid heights of Denali.  There is a downside, of course… there are smells again.  The one in the guide tent has been described as “hot garbage.”

Perhaps we will make it to Talkeetna and showers tomorrow morning. 

Best Regards,
RMI Guide Dave Hahn

RMI climber traveling on lower Kahiltna Glacier. Photo: RMI Collection

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